Digital Reads Reviews

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The Off Limits Rule by Sarah Adams

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and reviews. This is a review of a rom-com, The Off Limits Rule.
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Publication Date: 2020

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Breaking a rule has never been so enticing.

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. It’s okay though, because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right—I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—who am I kidding? I’m going for it.

My Review

What was it all about

The Off Limits Rule by Sarah Adams was a standalone but part of a series about characters that appeared in this book. This was a clean romance between a 28-year-old single mother to a sweet boy and her brother’s best friend, the book gave all the right vibes in its blurb. 

A woman whose love life was the pits, because she always chose the wrong kinda guys, the ones who wouldn’t put her on their list of priorities, was forced to come back home to live in her brother’s house. She found herself attracted to her brother’s best friend, and it was reciprocated. But both then received a warning from the brother. Of the two, the woman was brave enough to take her decisions. But BAM. The bro code was applied by the guy who kept rejecting her advances. 

I picked this book up from the shelf of one of my friends, as the cover gave me the feel of rom-com, the genre I was hankering for at the moment. The cutesy, lighthearted dialogues were dotted in the pages of the book to give it the right vibe of romance with comedy. 

My first book by this author I dived in quite enthusiastically. Amazon too had been showing this book in its suggestions. Off I went into the land of Lucy and Cooper and her big brother, Drew, the enforcer of the Off Limits Rule.

The Hook

Trigger Warnings – The book felt as if it were written by an amateur writer because the characters etched by her were cringy, to say the least. I would say I was being very generous in saying that. 

This warning could also be the hook that could keep the readers into the book as you know we readers were an optimistic lot and always hoped the characters would redeem themselves on the next page. But STOP right there. Don’t expect that level of maturity in this book. 

I hadn’t read a romantic comedy in recent times, so this was it. Though I had nothing to compare it to. But one thing made me happy, in the next rom-com I read, I would only be rising in the level. Wouldn’t I? 

Why are you guys shaking your head and rolling your eyes? Are there books worse than these? Really? 

The Characters

OMG. I hated the characters – all of them, even the ones that made a sudden appearance to show how much they influenced the heroine. Allow me a moment to explain. 

LUCY – the worst. She was like a five-year-old when she was 28, absolutely whiny throughout the entire book. I wished the author had spoken to some of the people in her real life who were in their late twenties to realize we didn’t speak like that. We were quite intelligent even if we were not intellectual. In trying to make her rom-com cute, she was annoying, like a wasp that I would like to bat away. And only in her mommy scenes did she redeem herself to some extent. 

COOPER – His friend of only one year suddenly pulled the bro code and instead of sitting down with him and explaining, he decided to follow the code. Grow some balls, man. You like the girl, you try the relationship thing with her, not reject her at every step until she is completely confused. Though I have no idea why you would take one look at her and find her mature enough for a relationship. Look at her – she complains about everything. But that’s your grave. You dig it, you get buried in it.


Other Characters

DREW – I could understand why he thought Lucy was not ready for a relationship. She wasn’t really likable. And I could justify why he warned Cooper of his sister. But the moment he came to know that the two were together despite his warnings, he threw a tantrum or two and just walked away and stopped speaking to them for three weeks, not responding even when his nephew was brought into the ER of the hospital where he worked. 

BRENT – Now are you asking Brent who? Oh, he was the ex but not really the ex. Her son’s father after one night stand. He kept her stringing via phone calls, making her think there could be a relationship, even when they had never dated before copulating and making a son. But she thought she could be a family with him as he was an awesome father. Though I never saw the child interacting with him, so had no idea if he really was. He made a sudden appearance to put Lucy down the entire time he was written in. 

OMG. Did I really need more unlikable characters? I had a slew of them in this book.


The Intricacies

This was romance, so the usual formula. Girl met guy, they liked each other, then came an obstacle. Here it was the bro code and a weird ex. Then an emergency and the guy and girl threw caution to the winds and decided to live happily ever after. 

I liked the story and enjoyed the attraction between them, especially the things that Cooper found cute – her weird text messages, her diving into a book when she had come swimming, her strange lines about not shaving her legs and other parts and wearing hideous underwear. 

Some of her behavior of doing her own thing in different circumstances and the scenes with the son were sweet. I liked the banter she carried on with Cooper, especially when he challenged her. Those resonated with me and made me long for a guy of my own. 

Anyway, this book was all about characters and dialogues, more than the plot line. Those had some doozies. 

The Setting

The atmosphere was rom-com was kept up throughout the entire book with some ridiculous lines and supposedly quirky characters. 

The Pace

It was the introduction to Lucy that was quite difficult to get into. She kept cribbing about everything, making me want to shut her up and close the book. But I persevered so that I would get into the rom-com mood and make a dent in the pages. 

The style of writing - The Prose

I liked some of the lines and so reluctantly, I would say some scenes were fun to read.

But you should probably read the zinger below to make your own judgment.

One of the zingers here 

Lucy says – I don’t need a man. 

Cooper says – You shouldn’t need a man to give you confidence, but for some reason you do. We’re working on building your self-esteem back up, but in the meantime I offered myself up as a tribute to help you flaunt a little in front of your ex. 

Huh? What? You are a tribute? 

How it made me feel - The Good

It was good in some of the scenes, but I wouldn’t really get into the book right after this one. 

Do I recommend this book?

I would totally recommend this book to all of you. We all need something to crib about and gossip with me. So get to it, right now. It is on Kindle Unlimited, so free for those who had a subscription. And come back here to share some laughter in the comments. 

I kinda borrowed the paperback version of the book from my friend and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.

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7 Responses

  1. Shalini, I can recommend some great rom-coms for you. Vi Keeland is a master at this, and most of her books are LOL hilarious. Check out Boss Man or Stuck Up Suit or Inappropriate…I was laughing so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. On a different note, I don’t know why, but all of a sudden your reviews are showing up in my inbox though they disappeared for several months. I’m looking forward to the next one. 🙂 Have a great evening!

    1. Thank you for the rec. Totally adding them to my list. I disappeared from the blog scene for some months since I needed a break and I was just not finding the words. Then mid January, I changed my blog look and it has been taking off since then. Touch wood.

  2. A totally honest, straightforward review, Shalini. I don’t think I’ll pick it up though because of what you say. Anyway, enjoyed reading your review. It’s been a long time.

    1. Hello Smitha, I had to take a break because I was doing so many things at one time and my brain cells had zinged out. Hoping that this flow of reviews keeps moving smoothly. thank you for your kind words. Apparently Vi Keeland books are great. I am totally checking them out.

  3. Long time no see Shalini. I hope all is well with you. I disappeared for awhile myself, I was getting burnt out. I have been trying to get back into the blogging scene, so we’ll see how it goes, lol! It is really great to hear from you again. Have a beautiful day honey 😉

Awesome to see you here. Let's chat.

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